Is atheism a religion?

Dec 2011
1,917
Yes, but there has been a long-standing tradition of moral enquiry within the Christian tradition, and it is no part of sound Christian teaching that people should do good and avoid what is bad merely because they will be judged for it afterwards, even if the threat of posthumous punishment might help to keep them on the straight and narrow! Feelings as such cannot be any detrmining factor either, although some kind of moral apprehension is surely essential. I find Kantian ethics too dry and formalistic, and would prefer to think that the finding and realization of moral value can bring a concrete self-fulfilment and self-realization that is left out of account if one thinks merely in terms of obedience to formal demands. Kant placed too heavy a weight on mere duty compared to the moral thinkers of antiquity, who conceived that moral action also draws us toward the proper fulfilment of our nature as human beings, which must itself be a high source of gratification.
Agreed. I have the same view of Kantian ethics as you do as well.

I am just sorting through some of the comments and trying to ground them with some of the theological/philosophical arguments out there.
 
Dec 2011
1,917
I understand what you mean. However, is it fair to say that all instances outside of religion that incorporate the word faith would be based in a proven hypothesis? I'm sure we both can sit here and think of plenty that don't. You already have given one example.

It's easy to discredit religion due to the fact that so many of its teachings defy what we understand and can prove out physically and logically. That should be enough for non-believers. I don't think discounting their basis of faith is fair though.

Atheists have modern science on their side.
Religious people have their faith.

It is what it is.
No, it would not be fair to assert that the word faith would be based on a proven hypothesis in all instances outside of religion. False equivalencies in play.

Faith in a god is not equivalent to an expectation from repeated experiences with machinery.

Additionally, it is an overreach to posit or posture that there is some rational argument in play here.

I think Kierkegaard sorted out the issue better than anyone. Trying to make a rational argument out of something that is not rational is a major logic malfunction. Of course, Kieregaard was a devout Christian.

Again, atheism is a disbelief in a god. THAT IS, AT ITS CORE, ALL THAT IT IS. PERIOD.

Our knowledge of what atheism is comes from the word itself. To wit: a-theism
 
Jan 2019
122
USA
No, it would not be fair to assert that the word faith would be based on a proven hypothesis in all instances outside of religion. False equivalencies in play.

Faith in a god is not equivalent to an expectation from repeated experiences with machinery.

Additionally, it is an overreach to posit or posture that there is some rational argument in play here.

I think Kierkegaard sorted out the issue better than anyone. Trying to make a rational argument out of something that is not rational is a major logic malfunction. Of course, Kieregaard was a devout Christian.

Again, atheism is a disbelief in a god. THAT IS, AT ITS CORE, ALL THAT IT IS. PERIOD.

Our knowledge of what atheism is comes from the word itself. To wit: a-theism
I agree with you.
 
Dec 2011
1,917
The only argument the religious have is Tradition. That people have believed it for thousands of years.
which, given the track record of, say, the geocentric model of the universe, or its age, is a paltry foundation on which to build a worldview.
An alternative view, from a theological perspective, is that many traditions in religion can be argued to have relied on secular philosophies. e.g. Plato, Aristotle, Buddhism.

In fact, in can be argued that western religious historical tradition involved a conflict between those who were inclined toward a Platonian view versus an Aristotelian view.

Additionally, it is due to Islamic scholars who resurrected secular knowledge that enabled western scientific thought to evolve.

So, to say that the only argument that the religious have is tradition is a bit over-simplistic IMHO.
 
Oct 2009
3,416
San Diego
An alternative view, from a theological perspective, is that many traditions in religion can be argued to have relied on secular philosophies. e.g. Plato, Aristotle, Buddhism.

In fact, in can be argued that western religious historical tradition involved a conflict between those who were inclined toward a Platonian view versus an Aristotelian view.

Additionally, it is due to Islamic scholars who resurrected secular knowledge that enabled western scientific thought to evolve.

So, to say that the only argument that the religious have is tradition is a bit over-simplistic IMHO.
No- it isn't. Its all they have.

I don't care if its platos version of magical sky daddies, or Christian versions.
ALL arguments trying to prove God thru logic or deduction have been soundly refuted.
they are all wishful thinking and trying to make up some justification for the fact that there is no actual evidence of any celestial deity.

As science and human reportage has improved, the majestic miracles of purported gods have woefully diminished, from Brimstone, floods and turning folks to salt- to cures of illnesses that even atheists sometimes recover from, and laughably amateurish portraits of his Mom or Son.

No evidence is no evidence.
Ergo- all they have is the fact that generations of people HAVE believed it. Have written about their beliefs. and made claims that can not be verified, nor duplicated.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
31,572
T'Republic of Yorkshire
As science and human reportage has improved, the majestic miracles of purported gods have woefully diminished, from Brimstone, floods and turning folks to salt- to cures of illnesses that even atheists sometimes recover from, and laughably amateurish portraits of his Mom or Son.
Be warned. DO NOT mock other people's beliefs. Disagree with them with respect.

That goes for everyone. There will be no further warnings.
 
Dec 2011
1,917
No- it isn't. Its all they have.

I don't care if its platos version of magical sky daddies, or Christian versions.
ALL arguments trying to prove God thru logic or deduction have been soundly refuted.
they are all wishful thinking and trying to make up some justification for the fact that there is no actual evidence of any celestial deity.

As science and human reportage has improved, the majestic miracles of purported gods have woefully diminished, from Brimstone, floods and turning folks to salt- to cures of illnesses that even atheists sometimes recover from, and laughably amateurish portraits of his Mom or Son.

No evidence is no evidence.
Ergo- all they have is the fact that generations of people HAVE believed it. Have written about their beliefs. and made claims that can not be verified, nor duplicated.
And I pointed out that in some cases "tradition" also includes secular philosophy that has been incorporated into religion.

For example, much of Christianity has incorporated Platonian metaphysical concepts. IOW, there is a doctrinal aspect that is not based merely on tradition. IOW, there is a cohesive set of logical interpretations derived from a systemized set of propositions. A person is able to draw conclusions irrespective of tradition from these propositions.

You were talking about "worldviews" which I interpret as some type of philosophy and not just a belief in a god.

I was not talking about "proving" god so in this respect your are objecting to something I did not say.
 
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Dec 2011
1,917
No evidence is no evidence.
Ergo- all they have is the fact that generations of people HAVE believed it. Have written about their beliefs. and made claims that can not be verified, nor duplicated.
But, this is not the case with a "worldview" which can be based on valid logic.

Aspects or components of the "religious worldview" may be based on faith that may be irrational, non-rational or rational.

Atheism only means non-belief in a god.

Atheism at its core does not say that there is no god. Only that there is no evidence for god.

This leaves open a wide area for non-rational beliefs and doctrines that have a valid logical unity. Of course, and I agree with you here, truth-claims cannot be made one way or the other if there is contrary evidential claims.

RE:
Karl Popper: the problem with induction
Thomas Kuhn: paradigms in thought, scientific revolutions
Raoul Vaneigem: religious/economic forces shaping western culture, non-traditional religious movements
 
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Likes: solx
Aug 2010
15,231
Welsh Marches
All valid observations, but in my experience it's a waste of time trying to enter into a serious discussion with anyone who regards this kind of mental vomit as constituting any kind of thought:

"I don't care if its platos version of magical sky daddies, or Christian versions.
ALL arguments trying to prove God thru logic or deduction have been soundly refuted.
they are all wishful thinking and trying to make up some justification for the fact that there is no actual evidence of any celestial deity.

As science and human reportage has improved, the majestic miracles of purported gods have woefully diminished, from Brimstone, floods and turning folks to salt- to cures of illnesses that even atheists sometimes recover from, and laughably amateurish portraits of his Mom or Son."
 
Jan 2010
4,265
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Not possible. Atheism is not a doctrine (more on this below).

Minimalist philosophies of various "atheistic" religions would certainly rule it out since the avowal to disdain material possession would counter the idea.

Is it fair to say that one of the tenets of our need to eat is materialism ?

Again, atheism at its core is nothing more that the disbelief in a god.

Thought point:

1. However, I think one of the tenants of materialism could be atheism.

This is because materialism is doctrine. Doctrines have tenants. Atheism OTOH is not a doctrine.
Your 1. Is a good point. Maybe that’s the best way of looking at it. Is it possible to be a materialist without being an atheist?
 

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